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Tapas Cook Breaks Silence and talks about the McCanns

Original Source: JOANA MORAIS: 03 MAY 2008
3 May 2008 | Posted by Joana Morais
All the Tapas employees working that night were sacked from the Ocean Club. The former cook from the Tapas Bar gives her story about what happened on that night. The McCanns never left the apartment after the alarm was raised. All the police, locals, and employees from the Tapas bar and Ocean Club never saw the Parents searching for their own daughter. More than 200 employees were interviewed by the PJ.





inside SIC Studio]

Journalist on Studio: And tomorrow, 3rd of May marks a year since Madeleine McCann disappeared. There in Praia da Luz, Maria Joăo [name of the other Journalist], good evening, is there any ceremonial service predicted?

[Cut to journalist on location]

Maria Joăo: Here, in the Ocean Club, no, nothing is going to happen here to mark the date, just a mass that will be done tomorrow at 18:30pm in the church of Luz. A bilingual mass which is going to mark one year since the disappearance of Maddie. In relation to the process, there are no new developments expected for the next few days. Only in the 15th the Judge of Criminal Instruction from Portimăo’s Court is going to reassess if the process continues or not under Secrecy of Justice. It’s very likely that the process continues like in the last year. Who broke the silence, while we're on the subject, were the Portuguese employees from the Tapas Bar, the restaurant where the couple McCann had dinner in the night of Maddie’s disappearance. Those 8 Portuguese employees didn’t see their contracts renewed this year. They were obliged in the last 12 months to be silent, forbidden to talk with journalists. Since they contracts were not renewed they decided to talk. SIC has spoken with the cook.

[Cut to medium shot of 2 people behind a tree]

Voice over Introduction: She doesn’t ‘show’ her face but a year later and without working in the Ocean Club, Manuela decided that she wasn’t obliged to the silence anymore. The cook [chef] who prepared a ‘Robalo’ [Snook fish/ Sargeant fish] with cuscus [signature dish of the Arab world] and the pepper steak meal the McCanns had to dinner in the night Maddie disappeared was in the griller area 3 meters away from the table of the couple.

[Shot of interior of the Ocean Club, focus on the Tapas Bar]

Manuela, the cook: They had already eaten the main course, [Cut to blurry image of a woman’s face, with a strong southern accent from Algarve], because it was already around 9:30pm when she gave the alarm.

Voice over: This former employee from the Tapas tells that immediately various colleagues left their work posts to help the searches. Meanwhile, in the hours that followed, during most of the time the McCanns stayed inside the apartment.

Manuela: My colleagues were indignated [angered/offended], because they went… One of them even had his feet all red, tired… and he was offended because he went to search though he wasn’t anything related to the girl, and the parents didn’t. [Cut to apartment] They stayed indoors, in the apartment.

[Various shots around the Ocean Club, archive footage of Police and Media]

Voice Over: A year ago, suddenly everything changed in the Ocean Club. The quiet resort, ideal for family holidays, was invaded by police and journalists.

Manuela: The Ocean Club, the Tapas turned into a pandemonium [chaos]. No one could get out, no one could get in. Even if we were married, our husbands couldn’t get in, neither our friends. Everything was surrounded… The security officers didn’t know the employees. They thought the employees were journalists. In the beginning everything was really complicated.

Voice Over: The Judiciary went in a full scale operation to Praia da Luz. For more than a month the investigators created a kind of headquarters in one of the apartments of the Ocean Club. All the employees from the resort were heard.

Manuela: They all went in two… in two hours by two hours, two [referring to the number of people –in pairs], during sometime. Close to a month. We were almost 200 employees.

Voice Over: Manuela remembers of seeing Madeleine sometimes.

Manuela: When the Parents would put her at the crčche, in the babysitters, the kitchen was next to it.

Journalist on location: How was Madeleine’s routine during those holidays? When she entered there, in the Ocean Club?

Manuela: She got in, was delivered to the babysitters. The babysitters would do a class; they would do a group course with the girls. Between 4pm and 4:30pm they had something to eat. In the morning they had a fruit lunch [breakfast?]… And then the parents would come to pick them up at 5 o’clock in the afternoon.

Journalist: In the middle of all those children do you remember Maddie?

Manuela: Because she entered there, she would wave goodbye, or say hello…She was really nice [lovely/polite]. She was always smiling.

Voice Over: After the disappearance of the girl, several family members of Kate and Gerry came to the Algarve.

Manuela: I remember that the family members instead of being worried with the family, would go to the pool, rented the tennis court, played tennis… Instead of being worried with the child that was disappeared!

Voice Over: The majority of the employees who was in the Tapas in the night of the Maddie’s disappearance as already left the resort.

Manuela: The contract ended and they sent us to unemployment.

Journalist: All the team that was in the Tapas that night?

Manuela: All the team that was there in that night.

Voice Over: After the disappearance of Maddie, the McCanns stayed in the Ocean Club for more 65 days. In July they moved to a house in the outskirts, away from the journalists eyes. It was there that they stayed until the 9 of September, the day that they went back to England. 


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